– By Kallah Maguire, The Stylist
The Nutritionista and I were chatting away this weekend plotting a delicious contest for all you MTM readers, and eventually (as women will) got around to the topic of fashion and style. Miss Nutritionista mentioned that she feels she hasn’t developed her personal style as much as she would like to, and that she’d love to know how to go about doing so.
Therefore I’ve put together five steps that will help most anyone find their own style, while having fun in the process!
Step 1) Buy a notebook to keep tabs on your style inspiration.
Grab shots of your favorite looks and trends from magazines, quotes from designers that you find particularly fabulous – like Coco Chanel “Fashion fades, only style remains the same”, and start building your own personal look book.
Visit your local book store or library and check out some fashion history books. Note the celebs and designers of yesteryear that had timeless style because trends are not everything, and Jackie O. and Gilbert Adrian can still probably teach you a thing or two!
Step 2) Borrow clothes from your friends so you can try new looks.
It’s cheap, easy, free and fun to borrow – not to mention a great way to test drive some new styles. Don’t forget to ask your friends if they’ll dress you up because they may have some great ideas about how you can rock their unused grandpa vest or summer dress!
Experiment with your newly fortified wardrobe over the next week or so and see what is “so the new you” (like the Hello Skinny Jeans, or the Oliver Spenser Jacket), and what’s not. If you fall in love with something that you’ve borrowed perhaps your friend will be kind enough to sell it to you, or let you take them out for a drink. At the very least they’ll tell you where they got the fab piece that you’re coveting.
Step 3) Take the look book to the next level with daily photos.
My clients love this! After a shopping trip I’ll incorporate all of the new pieces into their existing wardrobe and take pictures of them in the new combinations complete with shoes and accessories. You can do this, or you can simply snap photos of your outfits every day before you head out the door so that you can remember all of your best outfit combinations, and improve on ones that were lacking a little. Make notes next to each pic about what worked and what didn’t. This is also a great way to get a really accurate list of what you need to add to your wardrobe.
Step 4) Conceptualize your burgeoning new style and write it down.
This does not have to be perfect, and you can start out small. Descriptive words are you best friend when it comes to picturing your new outfits, so feed your imagination well. Start with the core outfit: “blood red fitted calf length skirt 50’s skirt, with asymmetrical top” or “flat front trousers, with a loose fitting linen button down.” Then as you get more of a handle on what you like, start adding shoes and accessories to each outfit. If you get stuck, roam around The Sartorialist for inspiration from some of the most stylish people around the globe.
Step 5) Be patient, fearless and have fun finding your own personal style!
When I start working with a new client it takes about a full year of seasonal, lifestyle, and event updates to really cultivate a great wardrobe. So, will it take you a year to change your style? No. Will it take you some time to figure things out and collect all the bits and pieces that you need once you start to define your style? Yes.
BE DARING! Try new outfit combinations that you’d normally steer clear of, keep the amazing finds until you can make an outfit out of them, make mistakes, and don’t be afraid to refine / redefine your look. You’ll feel more and more confident about yourself though this process, and confidence is always sexy!
Images courtesy of The Sartorialist